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American Association for Public Opinion Research

AAPOR Announces 2008-2009 Leadership Team

Washington, DC - April 30, 2008 --  The incoming president of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR,) the nation's leading association for public opinion researchers, today announced the group's newly elected Executive Council members.

"The challenges to the survey research profession have never been greater," said incoming AAPOR president Richard Kulka, Senior Vice President at Abt Associates Inc. "There are accelerating needs of the public, journalists, businesses, policy makers and researchers for high- quality information from polls and surveys to inform effective decision-making and debate. Our association is the leader in making that information available and accessible."

AAPOR is governed by a 15-member executive council comprised of current and incoming officers. The current, incoming and past presidents also work closely together throughout the year to ensure continuity. Information on the incoming officers is below, followed by the names of the current officers.

"I look forward to working with the outstanding public opinion researchers in AAPOR to address the pressing challenges facing the profession," said president-elect Peter Miller, who is concluding his tenure as Editor of the Public Opinion Quarterly (POQ). "The need for accurate information on how our society thinks and acts has never been greater. AAPOR fosters the sound, transparent research practices that produce valid data to meet this need."

Incoming Council

Peter V. Miller, vice president/president-elect, is concluding his tenure as Editor of Public Opinion Quarterly, AAPOR's professional peer reviewed journal.

A member of the faculty of Northwestern University for 25 years, he has served as Associate Professor, Van Zelst Research Professor, Director of the Institute for Modern Communication, Chair of the Department of Communication Studies and Associate Dean for External Programs in the School of Communication. In 1994, he was Communication Advisor to the Electoral Commission of Malawi in that nation's first multi-party elections.

Prior to arriving at Northwestern, he served as Assistant Study Director in the Survey Research Center at the University of Michigan, where he also held appointments as Assistant Professor in the departments of Sociology and Communication and Director of the Detroit Area Study. His research has focused on interviewer and mode effects in survey research, audience measurement, and mass media effects. His current work includes research on surveys of internet use, nonresponse bias in audience surveys and the use of computer animation technology in survey data collection. He holds A.B. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Michigan.

Michael W. Link, associate conference chair, is Chief Methodologist/VP for Methodological Research at The Nielsen Company. He has a broad base of experience in survey research, having worked previously at Survey Research Laboratory at the University of South Carolina, RTI International, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He received his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of South Carolina.

His research efforts center around developing methodologies for confronting many of the most pressing issues facing survey research, including techniques for improving survey participation and data quality, and methodological issues involving use of multiple modes in data collection. His current research is focused on the use of address based sampling (ABS) as an alternative to random digit-dialed techniques for general population surveys and on the uses of electronic measurement strategies as replacements for some types of self-reported data.

Paul J. Lavrakas, councilor at large, is a research psychologist currently working as a methodological research consultant. He served as Vice President and Senior Research Methodologist for Nielsen Media Research from 2000-2007. Prior to 2000, he was a Professor of journalism and communication studies at Northwestern University and Ohio State University. He was also the founding Faculty Director of the Northwestern University Survey Lab and the OSU Center for Survey Research.

His publications include a widely read book on telephone survey methodology; he is also the lead editor for three books on election polling, the news media, and democracy. He served on the Election Night Decision Team of the Voter News Service from 1996-2002 and is serving in a similar capacity with ABC News for the 2008 election.

John Boyle, associate secretary/treasurer, is Executive Vice President of Abt SRBI Inc. in Silver Spring, MD. Prior to joining SRBI, he was Senior Vice President for Government Research at Louis Harris and Associates. He received his doctorate in political science from Columbia University.

Stephen Blumberg, associate standards chair, is a senior scientist at the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He is the lead statistician and methodologist for the State and Local Area Integrated Telephone Survey (SLAITS). This random-digit-dial survey mechanism regularly fields some of the world's largest telephone surveys on children's health, health care, and well-being.

His research on survey strategies to identify vulnerable populations has been published in journals ranging from the American Journal of Public Health, to Ambulatory Pediatrics and the Journal of Sex Research. Since 2003, he has also written and spoken extensively about the prevalence of wireless-only households and the impact of cell phones on coverage bias for telephone surveys.
He earned his Ph.D. in social psychology from the University of Texas at Austin.

Nancy Whelchel, associate membership and chapter relations chair, is the Assistant Director for Survey Research at North Carolina State University. She administers student, alumni, faculty, and staff surveys for the university, conducts focus groups on campus issues, and provides consultation services on faculty and student survey research projects. She serves as the survey expert on the NC State IRB, and chairs the University of North Carolina system's Survey Working Group. She became interested in survey research through her work at the Center for Public Interest Polling while pursuing her doctoral degree at Rutgers University.

Mike Mokrzycki, associate communications chair, is Director of Polling for The Associated Press, where he has worked since 1985. He leads a Polling Unit that conducts more than 40 surveys a year for AP and with partners, covering a wide range of topics and employing diverse methodologies. He also manages AP's involvement in exit polling and runs AP state analysis of voter surveys on election nights. He helps set standards for AP staff in vetting and reporting surveys, gives training workshops to AP reporters and editors across the country, and maintains an intranet site with poll data archives and related resources.

Current Council

  • Past President Nancy A. Mathiowetz, Ph.D., Professor and Chair, Department of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee.
  • Incoming President Richard A. (Dick) Kulka, Ph.D., Senior Vice President at Abt Associates Inc.
  • Conference Chair Vincent Price, Ph.D., the Steven H. Chaffee Professor of Communication and Political Science in the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania.
  • Standards Chair Mary Losch, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychology and the Assistant Director of the University of Northern Iowa Center for Social and Behavioral Research.
  • Membership/Chapter Relations Chair Adam Safir, Statistician at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Secretary Treasurer Kate Stewart, partner, Belden, Russonello & Stewart
  • Communications Chair J. Michael (Mike) Brick Ph.D., Vice President at Westat.
  • Councilor-at-Large Scott Keeter, Ph.D., Director of Survey Research for the Pew Research Center in Washington, DC.

AAPOR is the leading professional organization of public opinion and survey research professionals in the U.S., with members from academia, media, government, the non-profit sector and private industry.